Russia has warned Ukraine of the serious repercussions of jeopardizing the Minsk peace agreement amid escalating clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.
Speaking at a security conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the steps being taken by Kiev pose a threat to the implementation of the peace deal reached in the Belarusian capital in February.
“The Minsk accords of February 12 are under the constant threat of disruption due to the actions of the Kiev authorities, who are trying to dodge their obligations…,” said Lavrov.
The truce deal, known as Minsk II, calls on both sides of the conflict to withdraw their heavy weapons from Ukraine’s front-lines and observe a ceasefire, which officially went into effect on February 14.
The agreement, which was co-signed by the representatives from Ukraine’s conflicting sides as well as Russia, France and Germany, has been violated on numerous occasions, with Ukrainian troops and the pro-Russians engaging in sporadic fighting.
In the latest instance of violence, Vladimir Kononov, the defense minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said that 15 people were killed in battles in the eastern region of Donetsk on Wednesday.
The mainly Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine have been the scene of deadly clashes between Ukrainian army troops and pro-Russia forces since April 2014, when Kiev launched military offensives there to quash pro-Moscow protests.
According to the latest UN figures, over 6,400 people have been killed and approximately 16,000 wounded in the fighting between the two sides so far.